Bishop Brendan Leahy of Limerick has made has made an appeal to the public for Lent – ‘if it’s not a time for giving something up, perhaps it’s a time for giving more’.
Speaking on Ash Wednesday, Bishop Leahy said that while Lenten sacrifices are not nearly as common as what they used to be, a commitment to do good across the 40 days and 40 nights benefits those doing the good and those for whom the good is done.
He said, “It’s a reality that today, as a reflection of the fall-off in the number of people actively engaged in the Church, Lent does not have the same impact in terms of people giving things up, which was the traditional response to Lent.
“But while it may not be a time for giving things up for people it could be a time for giving more. By way of that, I mean giving more of themselves to others. Doing good deeds.
“It’s something that should not be solely for Lent but let’s consider Lent a moment in time when we start doing something special for others. It could be someone elderly living alone, it could be someone who is going through a difficult patch in their lives, someone perhaps you have become estranged from. There’s so many ways of doing more good but the piece I am absolutely certain about is that if people take this on, they will feel a lot better about themselves.”
Bishop Leahy, whose Lenten Letter will be read out at all Masses in the diocese this coming weekend, said that Lent is a time to take stock and make a new start. He said, “Last summer I spoke of our need to repair the Church. At Advent I proposed new pastoral arrangements arising out of the Synod. But this Lent I would like us to focus on what God is ultimately asking of us – to be holy.
“Holiness can mean many things. I know for some it can sound like an old-fashioned notion or, for others, holiness might seem simply unreachable. But it is simply love lived fully and made up of small steps in our everyday life, no matter what or where or how we find ourselves.”
For more on Lent in the Diocese of Limerick see http://www.limerickdiocese.org/